Expert Witness

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We help construction organisations, regulators, insurers and their legal advisors with independent and objective advice by acting as an expert witness in construction disputes and litigation.  This can involve site visits, preparing notes/reports, liaising with other experts, giving evidence and being cross-examined in court.

When something goes wrong on a construction site, such as a collapse, and the case ends up in a dispute or a prosecution,  some of the issues involved can be highly technical and difficult for a lay person to understand.  This could could make it difficult for those trying the case to reach a decision.

An expert witness makes their knowledge and experience available to litigants, Courts and those resolving disputes to help them understand the issues in a case and thereby reach a sound and just decision.


What we do

We help litigants with independent and objective advice on construction and structural safety / CDM and problems with concrete structures by:

  • Undertaking site visits – to help establish what may have gone wrong and to provide input on what evidence and / or testing would be useful to establish the relevant facts
  • Preparing briefing notes and formal reports – to provide an opinion on what has happened, what should have happened, what the significance is of any difference between the two and whether any difference caused the incident
  • Liaising with other experts – to identify which issues can be agreed upon and where there are differences of opinion
  • Giving evidence in court – to help the judge and jury understand the key issues

Examples of cases worked on

Dr Mike Webster has acted as expert witness under both English and Scottish law.  He has been instructed by both defence and prosecution teams in a range of cases including:

  • Criminal prosecutions under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 – involving a range of new build and refurbishment projects
  • Criminal prosecutions under the Construction (Design  and Management) Regulations – involving clients, designers, contractors, principal contractors and planning supervisors in a range of construction work under the CDM 1994, CDM 2007 and CDM 2015 Regulations
  • Criminal prosecution for gross negligence manslaughter – involving city centre refurbishment and new build projects
  • Civil case in the Admiralty Court – involving interpretation of the condition of cement cargo to provide information on a shipping collision

Mike has been instructed as an expert witness in cases involving a range of construction and engineering risks.   These have involved a range of collapses including reinforcement cages, bridge wing walls, bridge beams, stored glazing, stored frames and mantelpieces. Mike has also worked on construction cases involving moving plant and falls from roof edges, through ceilings and though fragile materials.


Areas of expertise

Dr Mike Webster has expertise in:

  • Construction health and safety, organisational risk and the CDM Regulations – he led independent evaluations of CDM 1994 and CDM 2007 and reviewed the use of CDM 2007 in the construction of London 2012.  He has published a range of work and acted as an expert witness on behalf of both defence and prosecution teams in cases involving breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Work at Height Regulations and the CDM Regulations (CDM 1994, CDM 2007 and CDM 2015) during construction projects.
  • Defects, deterioration, durability, safety and the service life of concrete structures – his interest is in combining material, structural and construction issues to minimise risks to the safety, serviceability and whole life cost of concrete structures.  He has published a range of work, developed asset management guidance in the UK, Europe and Hong Kong and acted as an expert witness.

Mike is currently a member of industry forums relevant of his areas of expertise including:

  • Structural-Safety (incorporating the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) and Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (CROSS))
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers Health and Safety Panel
  • The Hazards Forum
  • The Society of Construction Law

If you would like to discuss how we may be able to help, or would like a copy of Mike Webster’s expert witness CV please drop me a line at mike.webster@mpwrandr.co.uk or give me a call on +44 (0) 7969 957471.


 

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